Sunday, August 24, 2014

SDR Software Defined Radio For Ham Radio Operators

                Free Software + $20 USB Dongle = Software Defined Radio, Hak5 1524
                                                          by Hak5

  I had seen various websites talking about an SDR Radio. I had found one SDR Radio for shortwave listening. When my Kenwood TS-2000 went down and had to be sent out for repair I was looking for something to at least receive signals on. I did not have my Grundig Satelit 750 at the time, which is an awesome radio for shortwave listening as well as listening to the Ham Bands. I installed the SDR Radio Software on my windows xp computer and it was awesome. I was listening to quite a few different Ham Radio Operators. I also found the program for my Linux Ubuntu and Mint systems. This software installed properly and worked just as well and even better than the windows xp system. Of course today with the non support for the windows xp operating system I would be very Leary of going on the internet. My best advise for using Linux is to download the current iso distribution or update whatever you are using, whether it is Ubuntu, Mint, Zorin, Fedora or whatever you are using.

                         SDR-Radio V2 (Beta), FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus (Win7 64Bit)
                                                          by powernumpty

   So as you can see SDR stands for software defined radio. There are Commercial SDR Radios that are out on the market such as Flex Radio, Perseus, RF Space, WinRadio, Quicksilver, Alinco,Elecraft and Fun Cube. There are also some SDR Radio Kits that can be purchased. Generally you can find  SDR Cube, Genesis Radio, Soft Rock and Lazy Dog Engineering. With these kits you get all the parts and assemble them yourself. This probably one of the fun parts of the hobby by building it yourself. I have read some of the reviews on these SDR Radio Kits and people are very happy with them. Some of these kits are transmitters as well as receivers while others are just for receiving. The kits can cover one frequency or bands from 10 meters to 160 meters including the warc bands. Simple kits may be around $20 and others that are more sophisticated could be in the hundreds. From what I am seeing they are well worth the price and would make an awesome addition to any Ham Radio Shack.
                           Episode 61: Software Defined Radio Basics with FlexRadio
                                                         by HamRadioNow

There are various SDR Radios on the internet. Basically you download the free software and install it on your computer. Then you connect to the remote systems that are all over the world. Most of the time you may be limited to only listening to a signal for 30 minutes. You can then reconnect to a different station and listen to some place different. In some cases with the SDR Radio Software you may have to purchase a Dongle. Here is a link to a website with some information on the SDR Radio Software   .  Check out this link for a better list of the SDR Radio Kits and Software . Obviously as you can see they are both at the same website. Some software driven SDR Radios that are run by individuals with servers all over the world. Two that I would suggest are WebSDR and PowerSDR. Both of these are free programs and work with windows as well as Linux. Generally with these programs you will find that they have numerous buttons on them and they will take a little getting used to.
                                       Example Of Perseus SDR Receiver

    There are quite a few different SDR Radios out there that do an excellent job. My advise is just to have fun whether you go with a SDR Radio Kit or if you just go with the SDR Radio Software and one of the servers on the internet. Either way it is just another interesting part of the Ham Radio Hobby. I should also add for the receiving part of the SDR Radio you do not need a Ham Radio License, but if you are transmitting you will need a Ham Radio License. Depending on what Bands and Frequencies you want to transmit on will determine which Ham License you will need. It could be a Technician, General or Extra. My advise is study for the test and go take it, because it is free. Start with the Technician and work your way up. I myself have my General License and am studying slowly for my Extra License.
  Well that's all for know so Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI  73s. 

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